In the home of the roadtrip, Eli Orzessek takes a look at four of America's most renowned car journeys.
1. Route 66
You just can't talk about the Great American Road Trip without a mention of Route 66, opened in 1926. While it's not entirely complete these days due to sections being claimed by state roads, private drives and grass, you can still enjoy most of the route. The most notable stretch to undertake runs 514km through southwestern Arizona, from the Petrified Forest to Kingman, via Winslow and Flagstaff. Keen road-trippers can check what's open and viable on historic66.com — then prepare to hit the road and find out why this tarmac became a metaphor for freedom on the open road.
2. Florida Keys
There aren't many road trips that will take you between islands, but this "Ocean Highway" connects nearly 200km of the laid-back Florida Keys.
Start in Miami and prepare yourself for an immersion of Americana, with plenty of kitschy roadside attractions, coral-filled parks, beaches and fantastic food. Be sure to try some famous key lime pie on Key Largo and check out the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum at your final destination, Key West. The journey can be completed in a day, with an overnight stay at Key West before you head back to the mainland.
3. Country music highway — Kentucky
Passing north to south along eastern Kentucky, US23 is also known as the Country Music Highway for good reason. Travelling this route isagreat way to learn about the many country music stars from the region, including Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs and Billy Ray Cyrus, among others. Aside from country music, there's also the Pikeville and Hatfield-McCoy History Tour, where you can explore the famous Hatfield-McCoy family feud.
4. Blues Highway — Tennessee-Mississippi
If blues is more your thing, take on Highway 61 — it rivals Route 66 as the most famous road in America and there have been many songs written about it. Running south out of Memphis, this legendary route (pictured) follows the Mississippi River and ends in New Orleans. There's plenty of history to take in along the way and you'll hear music freely flowing as you go.
If you don't have time to take on the entire drive, the first portion from Memphis to Clarksdale — also known as the birthplace of blues — makes a great day trip, with beautiful Delta scenery to enjoy. Plus if you enjoy the journey, you can always revisit it, ala Bob Dylan.